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Wednesday 13 December 2017

Top wine firm to pour a million bottles down drain

Jonathan Pearlman Sydney

A million bottles of wine are to be poured down the drain by Australia's biggest winemaker after it failed to sell enough of its product.

Treasury Wine Estates, the world's second-biggest winemaker, has said it is planning to clear a backlog of unwanted wine in the US.

The company has not yet disclosed how it will dispose of the wine but is reportedly planning to pour it down the drain, bury it in a landfill or squash it beneath a 10-tonne steamroller.

Treasury, which produces Penfolds, Wolf Blass and Rosemount, says it will dispose of only cheaper wines – worth about €3.50 a bottle – which have a limited shelf life.

The company is also planning to offer €30m in discounts on its "excess, aged and deteriorating inventory" in the US.

Chris Barnes, a wine expert at Melbourne University, said the wine being thrown away had been sitting in warehouses for months and would taste "pretty awful".

"Good wine certainly gets better with age but the wine we are talking about is certainly not going to be good wine," he said.

"I would say 80pc of the world's wine in volume was never meant to be aged more than one or two years. The sort of stuff they are talking about in warehouses has no place to go except with the baby nappies and fast food wrappers." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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